Yes, I was famished when I returned from the Krishi Mela (Farmer's fair) at IARI . It was painfully sunny in the first week of March and my first exposure to harsh sun after a pleasant winter. Hunger and sun make a painful concoction to give me headaches. I just gulped some water, popped in a few almonds to chew on and mixed some lentils and rice in the pressure cooker almost in the same breath. Ten minutes of plucking some Bok choy fresh from the garden, and chopping some more greens ... sauteing for another 5 minutes and my meal was ready.
A satisfying , tasty meal. Gorgeous to look at, I had a new Cherie red ceramic plate and wanted to click this picture when I started out to eat this. Never mind the plate is all covered with more gorgeous food. I am happy. Khichdi does that to me and I have many versions of this Indian staple risotto on my blogs. And they bring me lots of complements.
To be pressure cooked or cooked ...
red lentils 50 gm or 2 heaped tbsp
salt to taste
turmeric powder 1 tsp
water 2 cups
To be sauteed...
broccoli florets 2 cups
chopped greens of spring onion 1 cup
chopped garlic 2 tsp
cumin seeds 1 tsp
red chilly powder 1/2 tsp
ghee 2 tsp
Mix everything in the pressure cooking list and place on the stove. Pressure cook till the first whistle and then minimise flame and another 5 minutes. Take off the flame and let it cool while you arrange the other remaining things..
If you are not using a pressure cooker, cooking this mixture in a heavy base pan , covered with lid is a good way to cook it , stirring in between till the lentil and rice are cooked.
Add the chopped green parts of spring onion and let them wilt. Add the red chilly powder too.
This sauteeing takes about 5 minutes total.
Still some time left till the khichdi is cooked in the pressure cooker, so you can chop and grate a few vegetables to make a raita...
Five minutes total.
Mixed with a cup of whipped plain yogurt, seasoned with salt n pepper and a dash of roasted cumin powder if you like. The raita is as refreshing as it can be. Summers will be more raita less soups.
I find meals like this the most satiating and easy to concoct in my routine. I believe one needs to know basic cooking in order to follow a healthy eating routine. I get many queries regarding simpler ways to incorporate healthy ingredients and simply cooked meals. Why not buy and store lots of fresh vegetables in the fridge all the time, buy precut if you don't have time to chop and wash. Cooking can be made really quick using a pressure cooker or a microwave or both when you have to cook a couple of dishes in a limited time.
And I believe simplicity in the meals is useful in many ways. One you don't have to slave the stove and feel disgusted before you set out to eat your meal. secondly, if you can pack in as much taste and nutrition in a simple meal, isn't it a great way to follow healthy eating routine all your life?
After all we all want to make it workable, something that doesn't take all your time in the kitchen and saves you from unnecessary cravings. Now you know how your untimely cravings lead you to mad eating when you have skipped a meal or have compromised on fixing a decent meal for yourself.
Fix it yourself I say. Make it simple when in a hurry and plan a culinary storm when you are in a creative mood. Cooking up a storm needs to start with a happy mind and should culminate with a happy mind. Let it be occasional if it can't be affordable more frequently, and fix up simpler tasty meals till then.